The Road Less Traveled…

…well by me anyways. So, today I deviated from my usual commute route. Joel would tell me about his commute home, and this climb he had toward the last part of it. It sounded like a pretty cool climb. I’ve been wanting to do it for a little while, so I figured this today would be as good as any. I planned the day switch with my wife (she normally rides on Friday), and gave Joel the heads up.

First, I had no lunch (work bought the shop lunch, but the folks at Subway figured they weren’t serious about wanting two veggie subs, so they put meat on all of ’em, bastards), so my tummy was growling. I ate the Clif Bar I had and hoped it would be enough. Joel and I set out, and as soon as we hit the main road, head wind. It was blowing a little harder and more consistent than yesterday. Yesterday’s head wind was running, in what seemed to be, a clockwise motion, so no matter which way I went…head wind, but that has no baring on today, so ignore my rambling. We kind of took turns on the front to draft and get out of the head wind. The turn where Joel and I usually part ways, turned into my new commute adventure. We made a right and pedaled on our way, I was actually excited about taking a new, albeit out of my way, route. What’s cool about a new route is seeing new things. It was a pretty easy for the most part, but I must say that the chip seal they do on the roads out west here, sucks much ass. A short explanation of chip sealing is found here. It may be fantastic for cars, but it’s hell on a bike. The remaining rocks that don’t get “sealed” are pushed to the shoulder, where as a cyclist, we ride.  Anyhow, we made the turn to the climb-o-doom (just kidding), as soon as you make the left turn it climbs, a little bit and in stages, kind of like a set of steps, but it’s the last one that’s the kicker. I have to admit it, I was tired by this point, and the Clif Bar was barely hanging on…pre-bonking. The first couple of climbs weren’t too bad, but they were still climbs and they took it out of you, making the last one that much more difficult.  We were coming up to the last big climb and was rather impressed with it, it’s not long but it is steep.  We hit it and I was behind Joel, but that lasted a very short time, I had to hammer it to maintain my momentum. It was a stand up to pedal kind of hill. It took all of my remaining energy to push me over the top, but it wasn’t quite the end, because the road just kept going up, not steep, but long and steady. I had given myself a cramp, and was trying to ride it off, lagging well behind Joel until I recovered. We finished off the ride and got to Joel’s house, and cooled off in the AC. Nice! It was an ass kicker, but I really dug it, I like a bit-o-pain now and then, nothing like pushing yourself. I now appreciate Joel’s commute and see why he has become such a strong rider.

It’s cool getting to ride with someone, even though it’s only twice a week, and even cooler to see their progression.  I now see why Joel has come such a long way in a short time (big climb), people have even mentioned to him that he looks “thinner”. Like I said before, he has also become a very strong rider, and when he gets the funds to purchase his desired Raleigh Rush Hour, he’ll rock-n-roll.

We then went out for Thai with all of our friends…good times.

Ride On – Ride Safe

Patrick – SSD Crew

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